Our view from earth within our unique circumstances is only a piece of the big picture, but for the most part it’s all we see during our life. I’m especially struck today by the ways God uses circumstances in one person’s life to affect and impact others at the same time and in the future. I’m reading through Exodus which chronicles the Israelites’ enslavement, the plagues God imposed on Egypt and Moses’ leadership through it all. This drew me back to Genesis in two ways, first back where God told Abraham this would happen:
“Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be foreigners in a land that does not belong to them; they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. However, I will judge the nation they serve and afterward they will go out with many possessions.”Genesis 15:13-14
This shows God’s omniscience, knowing all of the past, present & future. It also indicates that God allows hard circumstances into the lives of His children, sometimes for others even in future generations. I then began thinking about Joseph’s life (Genesis 37-50), he was hated by his own brothers, sold off into slavery, taken to Egypt, found favor with an officer of Pharaoh, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, put into jail for many years, then put in charge of Egypt’s kingdom & food reserves during a time of abundance to save people during 7 years of famine, which ultimately saved his own brothers & father when they were starving. Joseph gives this insight to his family & us:
“…don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more… God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt…I will sustain you.”Genesis 45:5-8, 11
This all goes together explaining more of who God is, even His ways that I don’t understand, and that He is with us both in loss, pain, suffering and in abundance. When Moses asked God who he was in Exodus 3:13 in the next verse, “God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Interestingly, in Hebrew God’s “I AM” is the same verb used three verses before this when God said, “I will certainly be with you.” The same God who sends you, or allows circumstances into your life, also promises to go with you and be with you in the midst.
God is so multifaceted and is working on the present and future of His plans simultaneously and still cares deeply about the individual circumstances in all of our lives. I see this over and over again through His word and it amazes me every time I read it! Although we see life through the perspective of where we are on earth, God sees all people throughout time with an eternal perspective & plan, even this imperfect world looks much different from His perfect view.